Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter

VOLUME 13   NUMBER 2

SPRING 2012

Government Documents: Our Expanding Electronic Collection

Boston College Libraries is pleased to announce the acquisition of the complete back file to the digital congressional hearings -- published and unpublished from 1824 to the present -- through the database Proquest Congressional. This added content of hearings is a boon to our community of researchers and scholars; the majority of these hearings had not been part of our legacy collection. Now, for instance, if a student is looking to read the 1916 Senate hearings from the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary from the nomination of Louis Brandeis to the U.S. Supreme Court, or to find hearings from 1933, the 72nd Congress, on Wall Street reform from the Senate Banking Committee – the full text is at their fingertips. The complete Proquest Congressional, additionally, complements our vision of transitioning our Government Documents collection – both ongoing and standing -- to electronic access. In 1963, the Libraries became a selective regional depository (http://www.gpo.gov/libraries).

A cross departmental operations group consisting of Diane Baden (Monographic Services), Paul Bridden (Access Services), Kathryn Doan (Metadata Services), Sarah Hogan (Government Documents-Research and Engagement Services), Leslie Homzie (Government Documents-Research and Engagement Services), and Betsy McKelvey (Digital Collections) has been actively working on converting, when appropriate, many of our government documents to electronic access. The Libraries’ membership in the HathiTrust Digital Library (http://www.hathitrust.org/), an archive of over 10 million digitized items with over 2.7 in the public domain, has enabled us to harvest and provide electronic access to a large percentage of historical government documents. These documents are accessible through Holmes, our online catalog. As part of this process we have been offering-up the print holdings for withdrawal, in accordance with Federal Depository Library Program policies, to the Boston Public Library (a comprehensive depository library), and other New England academic libraries. Our enhanced electronic collection, and streamlined print collection, the majority of which will be moved offsite, will provide space for the upcoming Level One renovations. These renovations will accommodate the growing demand for additional study space on campus.

Leslie Homzie
Government Documents, O’Neill Library
Sarah Hogan
Government Documents/Sociology, O’Neill Library